Russian military advisors are attached to nearly all units of Syrian government forces, according to the chief of the Russian General Staff, Army Gen. Valery Gerasimov.
Gerasimov said that “any military unit – a battalion, a brigade, a regiment, a division” has Russian military advisors and their assistants: intelligence and artillery specialists, military engineers, translators and other officials.
“We cooperate closely with the Syrian government troops, our advisors are attached to nearly all units,” Gerasimov said in an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily. “They, in fact, plan combat operations and assist in commanding those units while they fulfill their combat tasks. In all directions, those operations are a part of a single strategy, a single plan, guided from the grouping’s command center in Hmeymim.“
According to the general, the support to Syrian troops is one of the reasons to keep Russian military bases of Tartus and Hmeymim. Another important reason is to project the Russian influence in the Middle East.
“During those two years, Syrian army officers and non-commissioned officers have received great experience. Now they can successfully conduct warfare and defend their territory. Our forces deployed on our bases can render support if necessary. Those forces will be sufficient to maintain stability and territorial integrity of Syria,” Gerasimov said. “On the other hand, we should not forget that Russia has own interests in the Middle East.“
The chief of the general staff added that it will take some time to fully stabilize the situation in Syria and the presence of the Russian bases is necessary to prevent the scenario that took place until September 2015.